Players young and old can learn from Kyle Allen versus Arizona State

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The familiar football statement, “If you have two quarterbacks, you really have none,” could be a pile of rubbish.

You never hear anyone say, “If you’re dating two girls, you must not like either all that much.” No. Sometimes it means you’re lucky and you have two you like a bunch (and are apparently okay with said arrangement).

For Texas A&M, if you have two quarterbacks, sometimes it means you have two quarterbacks. That said, eventually you probably need to pick one, and Kyle Allen showed a great amount of stuff in the Aggies’ win over Arizona State.

I can’t remember who it was, but someone on Twitter listed Allen as a “deep from the edge of the college football universe” dark horse Heisman pick. I laughed because it was so good. Allen appears to have something about him, and he showed it Saturday night.

The Aggies sprinted ahead rather quickly to what would end up being an insurmountable 14-0 lead. The Sun Devils looked like the guy you invite to the party who says he doesn’t drink beer, and everyone turns and looks at him, knowing he’s not ready for prime time.

An Allen fumble, however, helped ignite the Sun Devils and get them back in the game. That got Kyler Murray (who was expected to play anyhow) off the bench and into the action while Allen took his spot on the pine.

Murray showed those flashes of why he was such a sought-after recruit. The freshman just has another gear, even though he’s a bit spotty tossing the ball. He scampered for 69 yards and threw for 49.

Allen would come back into the game, however, and shake off whatever cobwebs attach when you fumble the ball and get yanked in favor of someone else. Rather than sulking or worrying he might have let his shot slip, Allen used it as a galvanizing moment and poured salt on the game as Arizona State limped its way back into contention but eventually crumpled, most notably on a possession that saw Devils forced into a field goal in spite of a first and goal inside the 5-yard-line.

That’s when Allen shrugged it all off and led the Aggies down the field. The next thing anyone knew, it was 38-17 and the horn had sounded.

Allen showed a lot, especially the ability to mentally shake off disappointment, something players at all levels of all sports struggle with as long as they play. The immediacy of being able to do so points to a very high upside for him.

Some guys take the benching, the constant position battle, and they sulk. Others, like Allen, see opportunity rather than disappointment and use failure as motivation. That attribute will serve Allen well, whether he ends up playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, or some company suit using his A&M degree far away from the glare of professional sports one day.

Either way, Allen showed up as a leader on Saturday. It doesn’t mean he’ll win the Heisman, but you can’t win big things without a leader, and it appears from that standpoint, A&M has it covered.

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